Job Advancement

‘It’s Your Career—Own It’

Debra-BassFeaturing Debra Bass, President, Baby Global Franchise Organization, Johnson & Johnson

At Johnson & Johnson, ranked on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list and named a “2014 Top 50 Company for Executive Women” by the National Association for Women Executives, company-wide efforts such as our “Women’s Leadership Initiative” (WLI) help to develop and support women throughout their careers. Debra Bass, president of the baby global franchise organization, has held varied marketing positions within and outside of Johnson & Johnson, spanning a number of industries and brands. Debra is also on the global steering committee for WLI and leads chapter engagement activities. Below, she shares her thoughts on career planning and the challenges she has faced during her career journey.

Taking Charge of Your Career

“Quite simply, no one else can shape your future like you can. As an employee, you need to plan your career and not expect your management to do it for you. It’s also critical that you be very deliberate about what you want, how you want to shape your personal brand and how you will navigate the specific journey to achieve your goals. It’s your career—own it and be deliberate about it.”

Challenges I Personally Faced

“The first challenge was clearly defining my mission. At a certain point in my career, I realized strategic marketing is where I brought the greatest value and what I was most passionate about, so I took action and decided to major in strategic marketing. Until that point, I felt that I was fumbling around with different general management roles in different industries, not really sure of what I wanted and how to get there. Once I declared what I wanted, it was easier to map my career route and stay focused on the end goal.
The second challenge that I, along with many women, face is work/life integration. I’m in a dual career working household: My husband has a career, and we have a 13-year old and an 11-year old. I’ve made peace with the fact that it is not all going to be perfect, but it is all going to work.”

The Importance of Company Support

“At Johnson & Johnson, my immediate management, mentors, sponsors and the HR community have all been very helpful, primarily by listening to—and valuing—my goals. I am very fortunate to have had a variety of different work experiences, which I helped make happen with support from the company, by declaring what I wanted.

“I started my career at Johnson & Johnson in North America consumer line marketing. After a short time away, I came back, but this time spent six years in the medical device business. At the time, senior leadership supported bringing in a traditional consumer-trained marketer to medical devices because they wanted classical marketing skills as they looked to build new capabilities and brands in the medical device space. Ultimately, the company took a risk and hired me even though I did not have experience in that particular business. I took myself out of my own comfort zone, too, but was confident in the skills I had acquired as a strategic marketer, and I knew I was joining an environment that valued me and would support me in the transition. I learned a lot from that, and am a better marketer because of it. Later, my leadership supported me when I made my way back to the consumer business, which is where I currently sit in the global franchise organization.”

My Career Advice

“Be clear and deliberate in what you want, what you are good at and what you are passionate about. Then do the work and go for it! Surround yourself with people who will support you on the journey, and enjoy the ride.”

Sponsored by:



Posted in Speaker Articles, Job Advancement

CFW SURVEY: ‘I Care’ and the Other Reasons You Do ‘Office Housework’

stock 853Editing a colleague’s report, taking meeting notes, refilling the printer paper tray—the non-job-description stuff you do at work to help someone, your team or the company at large has a name. “Office housework”—and as at home, the bulk of it falls to women, who mostly do it to little acknowledgment, let alone acclaim, reported Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant in a recent New York Times article. What’s more, they say, it’s another example of gender bias: Men are praised and rewarded if they pitch in, while women are penalized for not helping.

But is office housework that widespread a burden and do women do it because we have to? We asked our readers and a whopping 2,218 of you responded. You have strong feelings about the topic, ranging from resentment to bemusement. Here’s what you said: Read More

Posted in blog, Career, Speaker Articles, Success & Leadership, Job Advancement Tagged , |

Tips from the Corner Office: A Silicon Valley Insider’s Take on Success

Tsai, Christine “It’s said that experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want,” says Christine Tsai, founding and managing partner of 500 Startups, a venture capital seed fund. “If that’s the case, then I’ve amassed heaps of experience over the years.” Tsai, who graduated from college “at the worst possible time—right after the dot com bust” and tried several times to get a transfer at Google before moving to the product marketing team, has learned that “perseverance is the most important trait you can have.” She considers it the secret to success. To tap more of her wisdom gained from succeeding in Silicon Valley, (which recent news has shown to be a boys’ club, no less), we asked her to play career coach for an hour. Read More

Posted in Career, Speaker Articles, Job Advancement Tagged |

Story-Tell Your Way Into the Job You Really Want

Ford, KayBy Kay Ford, Director of MBA Services, Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business

Was there a time when your quick thinking saved the day at your company? Perhaps you devised an out-of-the-box solution to a problem, or stepped up to tackle a project and achieved great results?

If so, you should consider practicing the way you talk about that experience in your next interview. Turning your shining moment into a well-thought-out and carefully worded story that focuses on your results might help you land the job, as research shows interviewers best remember candidates through the stories they tell to prove a point. Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Communication Skills, Job Advancement Tagged |

Podcast: Mentoring Millennials with Lindsey Pollak

Lindsey PollakLindsey Pollak, often called a “translator” among the generations, shares her insights, opinions and the latest research about today’s 20-somethings in this 30-minute recording of her recent teleclass.

Listen below (or read the transcript) to pick up some actionable strategies to harness the power of your Millennial workers. Read More

Posted in blog, Conference Sessions, Transitions, Success & Leadership, Job Advancement, Podcasts Tagged |

Crack the Confidence Code — Podcast with Katty Kay

Katty KayWhy do so many women—even women who have achieved unprecedented success in the public and private sectors—lack the self-assurance that drives many of their male colleagues?

“Psychologists uniformly agree that a little bit of overconfidence is better than a little bit of under-confidence, which is what most women suffer from,” says BBC World News America anchor Katty Kay.

In this podcast, Kay explains the research behind confidence, plus why—and how—women should work on boosting the confidence they’ve got.

Read More

Posted in blog, Conference Sessions, Life on Your Terms, Communication Skills, Success & Leadership, Job Advancement, Podcasts Tagged |

Let’s Talk Pushy

Join this month’s forum, as we tackle the p-word. What’s your experience of the term “pushy” as it relates to you, and to all women?

Mohr, Tara“‘Pushy’ is such an interesting term because work that is worthy of our time and energies often involves pushing for something. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were pushy—pushing against the legislation and culture of their time—and as a result, you and I can vote. Today, women push for improvements to our communities, for more transparency and accountability from those in power, for better lives for our kids. As bosses, we push for excellence, from ourselves and from those with whom we work. Women who push, are, of course, inconvenient challengers to the status quo. Let’s keep pushing.”

–Tara Sophia Mohr, author of “Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message” Read More

Posted in blog, Career, Communication Skills, Job Advancement, Forum Tagged |

Beyond Social: Leverage Your Online Networks

Rosales post corporate-social-mediaby Lani Rosales

You’re a top executive, a business leader in your industry and community. You need to use social media, but how are you supposed to engage with your networks without wasting time or becoming a slave to the pinging sound of someone mentioning your Twitter handle online? Read More

Posted in blog, Marketing Yourself & Your Small Business, Communication Skills, Job Advancement

Lateral Moves for Long-term Career Growth

Mary Campbell PhotoBecky O'Loughlin photoFeaturing Mary Campbell, QVC Senior Vice President of Commerce Platforms, QVC, Inc. , and

Becky O’Loughlin, Vice President HR US Business & Corporate Shared Services, QVC, Inc.

“Twice in my career, I took a step backwards to move forward,” says Becky O’Loughlin, Vice President HR US Business & Corporate Shared Services at West Chester, PA-based QVC, Inc., the world’s leading video and ecommerce retailer. “I believe that the best way to achieve longevity in a career is to follow your passion, even if that means making a lateral or backwards move.” Read More

Posted in blog, Career, Career Choices, Transitions, Success & Leadership, Job Advancement

Registration is Now Open Register Now

What you need to succeed in work and life now.

Smart, timely insights from inspiring women.
Delivered twice monthly to more than 150,000 subscribers.